Saturday, November 16, 2013

Five for Friday - Opening Day

Well, it's time for Five for Friday and I haven't posted in a while.  I know it's Saturday, but I was stuck to the couch yesterday with the stomach flu!  UGH!!!  After lots of sleep, I feel much better, so hopefully I'm over that!

I've been quite busy getting everything set up for my evaluation.  I find out Monday how it went, but she sounded quite positive when I spoke to her afterwards.  It's quite nerve-wracking having someone in your classroom all morning long, writing down every detail about your classroom and taking pictures. 

Now that that's finally over, I can make my way back to the blogging world and hopefully start posting some of the things we've been doing in my classroom!

{1} Since I'm in a new classroom and a new grade this year, I've been working on ways to get organized and to make the classroom my own.  I took pictures of some of the items in my classroom this week to make labels.  Instead of putting items out on the tables for my students to use during Centers, they pull the items they want to use off of the shelf, and this helps them to know where to put them back.  This way, they are more likely to stay engaged in the activity for longer, and are willing to try out more activities because they have choice.  They don't get full reign of the classroom.  4-5 choices (at most!) is all they need, and it can be different activities that practice the same skill.
{2} During our Morning Meeting, I choose a Teacher Assistant to help me with calendar, the weather, and draw the Morning Message on the whiteboard.  At the beginning of the year, I started by drawing a person, talking about all of the body parts a person has.  Some days, we will make a list for our Morning Message, or I taught them how to draw a cat and a pumpkin, and we discussed how they are similar to drawing a person because they all have similar shapes.  After my Teacher Assistant draws a person (of their choice), they find their name strip in the Writing Center and write that person's name.
{3} I encourage students to take what they have learned from our Morning Meeting and use the information to practice during Centers.  I am fortunate to have another whiteboard in my classroom that is just for my students so they can practice writing skills.  This student wrote the letter "A" and said "It's in my name," and then he drew his mom.  He told me, "This is my mom.  Her eye hurts."  The conversations I have with students during this time really helps me to understand their thinking, and to help scaffold their skills to enhance their learning.
{4} This was my favorite activity this week, and also the one I was most nervous about, but pleasantly surprised!  The preschool teacher next door brought in golf tees and hammers so students could pound the golf tees into the pumpkins we had left over after our pumpkin discovery activity from the week before.  My students were so careful during this activity, working together, with one student holding the golf tee, and the other using the hammer.  And they were so patient to wait their turn!
{5} To conclude our pumpkin unit, students glued pumpkin seeds and yarn to a foam pumpkin cutout for an art project.  After it was dry, they cut out an orange construction paper pumpkin (that we traced from the foam pumpkin) and we stapled it on top.  Then, we wrote "This is what my pumpkin looks like on the inside."  I got the idea for this project from a pin I found on Pinterest.
Thanks for reading and have a blessed weekend!

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